Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Hey Blue-Legs ...
Date after winter date with a variety of men would illicit the same eventual question, "So, what exactly is wrong with your hands .. I mean, why are they blue"?
I have Raynaud's Disease. I know, it sounds serious .. but its really not; it's merely a spasm of arterioles (small capillaries) usually in the digits (fingers) which causes intermittent pallour (paleness) and cyanosis (the blue hue that appears when tissue is oxygen deprived). The most serious consequence I have experienced of having Raynaud's Disease is being forced to adopt the nick-name "blue-legs" throughout high school, coined after changing into shorts in preparation for gym class!
I'm not going to bore you with the pathophysiology, diagnostics and treatment of Raynaud's Disease. Instead, this blog entry is one that encourages absolute acceptance of the self: fully and completely. Raynaud's is a very small one of the many shortcomings that I have had to come to terms with in my life. Being teased about my discoloured hands and legs wasn't always easy, but it did remind me that, although I look like a smurf every time the temperature drops below 30 degrees Celsius, at least I have hands and legs that work.
Life is full of opportunities and challenges for self acceptance: from who we are genetically to who we become by the decisions we make, from the few pounds we gain over the winter, to the hasty comments we make that hurt the people we love, from our undesirable toes to the undesirable patterns we repeat. As unfavourable as they are, all of these have the potential for absolute self-love.
So what's the magic recipe to snap out of self loathing and into self-adoration?
Considering the following:
1) Do something you're really good at: it's hard to hate yourself when you think you're totally awesome!
2) Put some fantastic clothes on and accentuate your assets. If you're a woman, take the time to curl your eyelashes and powder your nose. When you're feeling not so great on the inside, sometimes the outside pretending becomes your new reality.
3) If the things you're having a hard time accepting are things you can change, then start the process. If it's weight you have to lose, commit to better food choices. Until the weight is gone, be sure to thank every last pound for facilitating a self love that has helped you make necessary lifestyle changes.
4) Try the Buddhist approach of compassion: whenever you notice condemning self judgement creeping into your thoughts, soften your tone and treat yourself like you would your own small child. Talk yourself out of judgement and into compassion and encouragement. You wouldn't condemn and criticize a child that you love, you why would you do it to yourself?
5) Try not to take yourself so seriously. Learn to laugh: it is kind of funny that that I look like a smurf after all! Eyelashes curled and nose powdered, that's Smurfette to you! :)